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CHP: January 1 Brings New Year, New Laws on Roads

SACRAMENTO – New laws approved by the California Legislature in 2019 will potentially impact drivers in eastern Madera County in 2020. The updated legislation covers a wide range of issues and includes an increase in distracted driving penalties, revised standards for use of deadly force by a peace officer, new rules for bicycles navigating intersections and even an updated policy allowing mountain-area motorists to salvage “roadkill.”

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) this week highlighted some of the new laws that take effect next week, including:

  • AB 67: Current law prohibits a person from driving while using a wireless telephone in a handheld manner; if found in violation, the offense is punishable by a fine. However, beginning July 1, 2021, this new law will levy an additional penalty on a driver found in violation of California’s hands-free law: a point will be added on to a driver’s record for each hands-free violation occurring within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense.
  • AB 392: Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, this new law revises the standards for use of deadly force by peace officers. The use of deadly force by a peace officer is justifiable when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary. Section 835a of the Penal Code amends the reasonable force standard to “objectively reasonable force.” An with the enactment of AB 392, another new law (SB 230, Caballero) requires law enforcement agencies to rewrite use of force policy and provide mandatory training to all peace officers in order to comply with the new law.
  • AB 1266: This new law allows bicycles to travel straight through a right or left-hand turn-only lane while at an intersection, if an official traffic control device indicates the movement is permitted.

Another new law that takes effect next week  — SB 395, also known as the “Roadkill Bill”– allows the Fish and Game Commission, in consultation with the CHP and other stakeholders, to establish a wildlife salvage “pilot program” authorizing “new permits for removal and recovery of deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and wild pigs killed because of collisions with vehicles” — if the wild game meat is used for human
consumption.

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Sierra News Online

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